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‘My city of ruins’: A city to come

By Johann-Albrecht Meylahn

Abstract

‘My city of ruins’ is the title of a song by Bruce Springsteen and will accompany a public theological reflection of imagining alternative cities. A city of ruins is either a city <em>of</em> ruins in the sense that it is a city in ruins. Alternatively it is a city <em>of</em> ruins in the sense that it is a city that is built from ruins, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. The article will reflect on the second alternative namely the <em>poiesis</em> of a habitable, sustainable and political space (<em>polis</em>) in a time when all the meta-discourses of constructing and social engineering lie in ruins (have been deconstructed). The article will focus on Derrida’s ideas of deconstruction and the hope and prayer of <em>perhaps</em>. Springsteen’s song includes the prayer: ‘come on, come on, rise up!’ A city of ruins prayed into existence, rising up by the call (prayer) of those longing for a liveable, sustainable city to rise up from the ruins of too many empty promises of the various political agendas. Creating and imagining a city of prayer, which involves the prayers for justice incarnate in the broken language (ruined language) of revolutions, and transformations and political construction, thus calls a city of promise into existence

Topics: Deconstruction, Justice, Democracy, Hospitality, Cities of Refuge, The Bible, BS1-2970, Practical Theology, BV1-5099
Publisher: AOSIS
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.4102/hts.v70i3.2723
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:f1b4e5e50a69477da3870e74ff5f8c79
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